Many of us enjoyed watching the Super Bowl this past Sunday! Did you know that every player and coach set goals at the end of last year’s season to be at that particular place and at that particular time as the winning team? While it’s great seeing others achieve their goals and dreams, we need to “get in the game” and not just be a spectator in the game of life. So here are my “get in the game” questions for you. What is the major goal that you are striving to achieve in 2018 and what will be your Super Bowl achievement by the end of the year?
Research has shown that there are certain goals that become less meaningful to individuals. Extrinsic goals like fame and fortune, when not coupled with something of substance like making a difference, have lead to anxiety, depression, narcissism, and physical illness. According to Keyes and Haidt (2007), there are 4 categories for meaningful life goals:
- Achievement/works- being committed to a task, believing in it, and enjoying the challenge.
- Relationship/intimacy- relating to others, and being unselfish and helpful.
- Religion/spirituality- having a personal relationship with God and contributing to a faith community.
- Transcendence/generativity- contributing to our society, leaving a legacy, and transcending self-interest.
There are two critical skills one must possess to achieve their goal(s) (Robert, 1984). The first skill is patience. Patience is an ability to be happy and satisfied and live in the present moment when you would rather be doing something else. Harned (1997) goes on to describe patience as suffering with calmness, tolerance of others, waiting without resentment, and consistency. Patience is not about being aimless or not striving for something, but it enables one to be attentive and prepared to respond to opportunities for goal attainment when it presents itself.
The second skill is perseverance. Perseverance is needed to accomplish one’s goal. Perseverance is about keeping commitments, being unwavering, enduring obstacles, making sacrifices, and resisting the temptation to give up. In another sense, patience focuses on the present, whereas, perseverance is all about a focus on the future.
Do you possess these two critical skills? How do you know? What have you done or what will you do to develop these skills?
Finally, here are some steps to achieving your major meaningful goals in 2018:
- 1st- Have ONLY a Plan A- Ignore the voices of those who tell you to have a plan B. Plan Bs tell you that you don’t have to be fully committed to Plan A. Steve Harvey (Ebony, 2012), actor and comedian, shares this thought in his belief that a plan B sets you up for failure. He urges one to ignore the statistics and toss out the rules like having a plan B.
- 2nd- Ask yourself: What am I willing to lose or give up for this meaningful goal? –Am I willing to get up earlier, go to bed later, stop eating certain foods, work out, spend more time moving away from unhealthy relationships and nurturing those that help you to flourish, be more patient, give up material possessions, or even move to another state or country?
- 3rd – Be willing to pay the price- Find stories of other individuals who have had similar, major goals. What did it take for them to meet their goal? What price did they pay? Will it be worth it for you?
- 4th- Remember, failure is only failure when you quit- Be prepared for obstacles on the journey. In many cases, the obstacles are a prerequisite and are necessary for you to be able to move to the next goal beyond the one that you are pursuing. The great Muhammad Ali said that champions never become champions in the ring, they are merely acknowledged in the ring. Champions become champions in all of the enduring efforts leading up to achieving the goal of a champion.
Be prepared to endure as a champion! Become the champion like only you can for the attainment of your meaningful goals in 2018!